Antler Restrictions

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting Forum' started by Hitman, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. MALLARD MAGICIAN

    MALLARD MAGICIAN Elite Refuge Member

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    Hitman, I think you are looking at AR the wrong way. You can use it to manage a public deer herd, but it all depends on what you are trying to manage. You seem to think that the only reason to have AR is to make TROPHY bucks. 3 or 4pt restrictons on one side only is not going to make for a trophy buck management plan. What it is going to do is protect the "majority" of your 1.5yr old bucks, which make up over 75% of the bucks killed, and allows those bucks to get a little age on them(and hopefully some respectable size). What that does is reduce you buck kill totals & hopfully increases your doe kill totals, which in turn in a few years brings you buck to doe ratio back into a more healthy range. That is all AR's are for, herd health, bigger more mature bucks is just an added benefit of the program. You are right in the fact that it would be almost impossible to manage a public herd, but only if you are managing for TROPHY class bucks. Because as someone mentioned to do that would include min. points/side and a min. rack width, which is too much to ask of the public(imho). As BSS menitioned, Arkansas has had a 3pt rule in affect for 4 or 5 years(along with a four deer limit of only which two could be bucks), and in our part of the state(the delta) it has worked. I have increasingly seen more rut activiate & larger bucks each and every year since the start of AR.
    IMHO our state took a step backwards this year, they kept the 3pt rule, reduced our limit to 3 deer(not a bad thing), but only 1 could be a doe. How can you achieve a buck to doe ratio of 1:1(which is perfect) if you allow the hunters to take twice as many bucks as doe? But due to public pressure they bowed down and took this step backwards. They have plans in the works to go to a 4pt rule in the state next year, we will see what they come up with.
    Hitman you can't worry about the legal buck that you pass up only to get wacked by someone else, because that buck was a LEGAL buck, just not a "shooter" in your terms. Every buck you pass up will not be shot, and you WILL be rewarded with bigger bucks by passing up the small ones. In fact, I would be willing to bet you already have. Have you?
    I also read your thougts on weather or not it was the states place to tell someone how big of a buck they can kill. Once again the management tool is not in place to make people kill trophy class bucks, it is there to make the total deer herd more healthy. Which I think is the states job. If they were trying to make everyone kill just trophy bucks, they would only let you shoot 18" 10 pts or bigger.
    Now there is some studies that show that what Packman is saying about the results of AR is true. But all of those studies were on smaller tracks and in controlled enviroments, and I am not sure how they relate to a wild deer herd. But they for sure do not need to be ignored, and something I think the state of Arkansas is taking a look at.
     
  2. MALLARD MAGICIAN

    MALLARD MAGICIAN Elite Refuge Member

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    Did any of what I said make sense? Do any of you have thoughts on those opinions? I thought ya'll wanted to keep this discussion going.:D
     
  3. Hitman

    Hitman Elite Refuge Member

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    Yeah, you made alot of sense. I have to admit that I agree with alot of points that you brought up. IMO though AR was the carrot for herd reduction. I also agree with Packman, I think that during the course of AR, one year alot of nice racks will be shot, the following year not so many, the 3rd year alot of nice racks ect... I think the tendencay will be up & down when it comes to rack size. I will be the first to admit that I'm addicted to White Tails & everybody wants a big rack. I disagree with some of the decisions (I know I'm no biologist) & am hoping with a doubtful mind that it works.
     
  4. MALLARD MAGICIAN

    MALLARD MAGICIAN Elite Refuge Member

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    I don't think that is what Packman is saying, and I know that is not what the studies are saying. What they believe will happen with AR, in the longrun(6-7yrs into AR), is that you will start to see you overall rack size go down. The smaller racks will come from over selected killing of the BEST genetics. But you will not be killing your BEST genetic carrying bucks while they are mature, Trophy, bucks. You will take out your BEST genetics while the bucks are still young. Because a large % of hunters are not going to hold out for mature bucks, they are just going to take the first "legal" buck that walks by. Those first "legal" bucks are more then likely going to be REALLY nice 1.5 year old bucks with more then spikes or forked horns, or good 2.5 year old bucks. Since those are the ones selectedly killed the poorer genetic bucks(1.5-2.5 year old spikes to 5pts) will be passed up because they are not "legal". Therefore be more likely make it to 3.5 year old, and become MUCH harder to see & kill, and be MORE likely to breed your doe. Therefore passing on the POORER genetics.

    IS that clear as MUD????:confused: :nutz

    Makes sense in theory. But there is still a lot of questions & assumtions in that theory. Such as, what % of 1.5 deer make a rack vs being spikes/forked horns? Will a racked 1.5 year old buck be a bigger 3.5 year old buck then a 1.5 year old spike? What % of your total buck kill is 1.5 year old bucks under AR?


    Hitman, another thought I had on your concern of passing up a "legal" buck only to have it shot once it walks onto public ground. Did the same thing not happen to you before AR? Only thing was the spikes or forked horn bucks that you passed up were more then likely the ones getting shot on the public ground. If for no other reason, isn't AR a good thing only because it gives those spikes/forked horn bucks a chance to grow up another year?
     
  5. Hitman

    Hitman Elite Refuge Member

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    MM, I said the same thing on page 1 of this thread-
    I didn't continue about the bucks not legal according to AR who do make it to maturity having poorer genetics.
     
  6. Hitman

    Hitman Elite Refuge Member

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    MM- yes, let them grow. But think of this-
    What I'm trying to say is, just hunt. Ever notice that certain guys are always killing decent bucks for the area they're in? These guys are the ones who put time in year 'round, not a month before the season. Like I've stated above, the bucks were always there, some people wacked the 1st one down the trail & were out of the woods within an hour of opening day. They had to stay put last year & pass that opening hour spiker & ended up shooting a buck that they never would've seen.
     
  7. MALLARD MAGICIAN

    MALLARD MAGICIAN Elite Refuge Member

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    I agree that with or without AR, a dedicated deer hunter can put in the time and find a good quality mature buck to kill most every year. Can't argue with you on that point at all, but as I stated AR is NOT about producing more Trophy class bucks. It is all about managing herd health, or as you put it herd reduction, basically a way to get buck to doe ratios closer together Another way to go about this is to say that a hunter can take any sized buck he/she would like, but they have to tag at least one doe prior to being able to take a buck. How well do you think that would go over? About like a turd in the punch bowl. But that is exactly what the game & fish are trying to accomplish with AR by replacing small buck harvest with doe kills, AR just allows them to do so in a bit of a hidden form that they can promote as a way of getting bigger bucks in the herd. It is not perfect, but it will work, it just has to be managed and twiked through the years. You can not implement AR's and walk away thinking all your problems are solved. If your state does this, the deer herd will start going backards within 6-8 years.

    I will admit I am a little surprised that your state killed just as many bucks under AR as in previous years. Will be interesting to see what happens this year. That may point to the fact that your buck to doe ratio is in better shape then believed or that the culture(mindset) in your state just will not accept killing doe as of yet. What did your state "experts" have to say about the larger then expected buck kill?
     
  8. Hitman

    Hitman Elite Refuge Member

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    I don't think the buck/doe ratio is all that great around here, 6-8 to 1 maybe? I can't honestly answer waht they had to say about the buck kill last year. I'm expecting the buck kill to be down this year, I heard alot less shooting this year than I've ever heard around here. The mindset of the state is to kill more does, they used to issue doe tags by counties, now they issue them according to Deer Management Units. Some area's need thined more than others, but I think they should have made the unit's smaller instead of larger & I feel that there are alot of hunter's who feel the same way about the DMU'S.
     
  9. MALLARD MAGICIAN

    MALLARD MAGICIAN Elite Refuge Member

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    Yes I KNOW that your state wants more doe killed, otherwise they would not have started AR. What I meant is that the culture & mindset of the HUNTERS in your state will not allow for many to shot doe. You know the thought process that it is not MANLY to shot a doe, or that it is just WRONG to shot a doe at anytime(much as many feel about shooting hens).
     
  10. Packman

    Packman Elite Refuge Member

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    Actualy what I am saying is over about 100 years of ARs then you will see the change in genetics. Look at Europe. The use to have deer ofer there with large racks but centuris of trophy hunting have made them small racked deer. Just my observations nothing scientific.

    This has been a great discussion.
     

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